Ring, a company owned by Amazon, has positioned itself as one of the leaders in the field of smart home devices. Their Ring doorbell, now available in four versions, is especially popular gadget among those trying to make their houses smarter. It is a solid and useful piece of equipment. Well-built, easy to use and nicely designed,
However, there seems to be a nagging issue about this otherwise reliable product. It concerns the Ring doorbell not charging properly. More and more people on forums, Reddit and comment sections are complaining about this problem. For a lot of them, the battery drains too quickly, won’t charge or completely dies.
What Seems to Be the Problem with Battery?
According to the manufacturer’s specification battery life on a single charge is between 6 and 12 months. For most of the customers, that’s not the case at all. Some have reported that the battery has drained even after a couple of days, for others it has lasted anywhere from 15 to 60 days. So, nowhere near as advertised. Also, there appears to be an issue with recharging the device. This often happens even when the device is hardwired into household wiring.
First of all, we may be dealing with a little bit of false advertising on the side of the Ring. When they say 6- 12 months, they mean 6-12 months of normal use. And for them, normal usage implies 750-1000 events. Now, the event indicates every activity of the appliance. So, any push of a button, every motion trigger, recording or live viewing influences the life of the battery. If we take into account all the people visiting you, incoming packages and every triggering movement in the vicinity, the math doesn’t really add up. If you live near a busy street, you can face up to 50 motion triggers a day.
Possible Reasons for the Short Battery Life and Charging Problems
Battery issues can be caused by several reasons. Some of them are mentioned on the Ring’s support pages, some reported by the users. Here, we’ll list some of these issues and how to deal with them:
Well, if you live up north – tough luck. Just like all the devices powered by lithium-ion batteries, the Ring doorbell doesn’t handle the cold that well. At 36oF battery will start to have problems holding the charge. If the temperature drops to 32oF it won’t charge at all. -5oF will probably cause the battery to flat out die.
If this is the case, there isn’t much that you can do, other than monitor battery status and often bring it inside for a recharge and a warm-up. Make sure that you charge it all the way up to 100%, to ensure that it works for as long as possible. Even hardwiring your device won’t help much here. An external source of electricity doesn’t power the bell. It only charges the battery, so the issue with holding charge remains. At the temperatures below freezing, the battery will simply cease to accept the external charge. It seems that the only definitive solution to this problem is moving to warmer parts of the country.
As mentioned above, the Ring’s battery life is determined by the number of events monitored by the device. Every time the sensor is triggered, the doorbell consumes power, even if you don’t respond to the alert. The device connects to the Ring Cloud via router and Wi-Fi connection and sends 40-seconds recording there for storage, each time draining your battery a little. The drainage increases if you use a live stream and speak through the camera.
Depending on the positioning of the doorbell and layout of a yard in front of a house this can put a serious strain on your battery. The sensor may pick up unwanted movements, such as cars on the street and passers- by. There has been even been reports of detectors being triggered by movements of the leaves on the trees.
One thing you can do about this is to reposition your device to have a field of view with as few as possible of these false events. Also, you can change motion settings. When set to maximum, sensors cover a radius of about 30ft. Setting the radius to 5 or 10ft will enable you to clearly see who is at the door. At the same time, you’ll avoid unnecessary alerts. Another tip is to change the Motion Frequency settings to standard or light. This setting determines how much movement will sensor pick up. One more useful option is Motion Scheduling. This function enables you to account for regular events that occur at the same time daily. If you own Doorbell Pro or Elite, use People only Mode. In this mode, the sensor will only react if a human is detected. A lot of users that had issues with Ring Doorbell not charging properly have found this to be very helpful.
If your device is having trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi network, it will contribute to draining the battery. A strong and constant connection is necessary for the doorbell to work and battery to charge properly. In your
Ring app, under the menu Device Health, you can check RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator). It indicates the strength of the connection between router and device. The reading of – 66 or lower means that there is a lot of interference, influencing the function of the battery. If the RSSI is -40 or higher, the signal is very strong. Then the reason for Ring Doorbell not charging as it should be is probably elsewhere. Note that this device only connects with networks on 2.4 GHz. Also, your Wi-Fi needs to be on channel 1-11.
If you are experiencing this issue, it could be due to the poor positioning of the router inside the house, relative to the doorbell. Also, pay attention that there are no obstacles that may interfere with the signal. Wi- Fi’s stability can be influenced by brick and concrete walls, electronic devices, and household appliances – microwaves, for example. In case this is not possible, you may try setting up a mesh network with multiple nodes. This way the device will connect to the closest node, making sure that signal strength is good. Another possible solution is installing the Ring Chime Pro which should increase Wi-Fi coverage area and strength.
Hardwiring Your Ring Doorbell
An option you can consider is hardwiring your Ring Bell to the preexisting doorbell on your house using a low voltage transformer. Although it may not necessarily solve the problem with draining the battery, it will at least eliminate the need to charge it yourself every time.
Hardwiring itself is not without issues. It works on a principle of trickle charging. According to some studies, trickle charging may not be good for the battery in the long run. It can sometimes decrease stability and can cause malfunctions.
Also, hardwiring needs to be done properly, otherwise, the doorbell doesn’t get power. This is especially important for inexperienced users. In case that battery still doesn’t charge after installation, there is a couple of things you can do. Check existing wires for damage and replace them if needed. They shouldn’t be too tight or too loose around the two screws. Clean the baseplate contacts. If the device still doesn’t get the power after installation, try switching the wires. It’s probably best to ask for expert help if you are not sure how to perform hardwiring. When done right, the Ring app should show hardwired status.
If you are looking for another way to constantly charge your battery and feel green, perhaps using a solar charger is a way to go. It is easy to install and also serves as a mounting bracket for your device. The solar charger requires a few hours of sunlight a day to fully supply your doorbell with power. It’s water-resistant and works even on cloudy days. Besides original manufacturer’s chargers, you can easily find third-party products suitable for Ring Doorbell.
Interestingly, most of the complaints about Ring Doorbell not charging have come near the end of 2019. So, it may be the issue of flawed firmware update. If that’s the case we can hope that the Ring will soon rectify this situation. Or, perhaps, rolling back the firmware can solve the problem Some users have tried it and it worked.
Battery charging issues can significantly reduce the functionality of the obviously quality product. What you want from the doorbell is mostly to set and forget. Recharging battery every so often quickly turns into a tiresome chore. This particularly goes for the original Ring Doorbell. With this version, you have to unmount the whole device from the wall to recharge. Besides the trouble of it, this leaves you without the doorbell for at least a couple of hours. Ring doorbell at least has a somewhat more elegant solution with a removable battery. Some customers even reported that, with certain builds, you need to do the whole setup of phone application all over again after recharging Most certainly, you don’t want device charging to become a part of your daily routine. You have enough of that already.